The injured star was missed badly in Merida as the Albiceleste suffered a terrible start to the game before recovering late on, and it is not the first time they have suffered
From his team-mates, to schoolteachers and even the country’s president: everybody in Argentina pitched in to try and convince Lionel Messi to change his mind after announcing his retirement from international football.
And when you look at the team’s record with and without the captain, that clamor was hardly surprising.
Argentina dug deep to take a 2-2 draw against Venezuela on Tuesday, with Messi back in Barcelona recovering from an injury.
It was the fifth match in which he has played no part during this World Cup qualifying campaign, and his absence has often been sorely felt by the nation.
With Messi in the team the Albiceleste boast a perfect record, having won three out of three games against Chile, Bolivia and Uruguay, with four goals scored and just one conceded.
But in the five games he has missed Argentina have won just once, against Colombia in 2015.
A defeat against Ecuador was followed by draws against Brazil and Paraguay at the start of the qualifying campaign, and Tuesday’s result means Edgardo Bauza’s team have taken just six points out of the 15 on offer without their talisman, scoring four and conceding five.